With a population encompassing some 180 nationalities, Amsterdam is a melting pot with culture at its core. From visual and performing arts to electronic music, there’s something for everyone who appreciates the arts.
Options include classical concerts at Royal Concertgebouw, jazz at Bimhuis, cabaret at Carré, international cinema at EYE Film Institute Netherlands, live theater at City Theatre Amsterdam, and pop, hip-hop, soul and electronic music at such world-renowned clubs as Paradiso, Melkweg and Sugar Factory. For kids of all ages, De Krakeling offers a year-round program of live theater, magic, music and dance geared for the young and young-at-heart.
Amsterdam city government supports the arts as a way to bind communities and stimulate cultural and economic growth. This is particularly evident in August, when two fabulous festivals showcase the performing, visual and literary arts.
The Grachtenfestival Celebrates Jazz and Classical Music
For jazz and classical music aficionados, the 18th edition of the 10-day Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival), from August 14–23, 2015, will bring live music to venues throughout the city. Since 1997, the cultural celebration has drawn 60,000+ visitors annually to the Dutch capital, who come for performances held on pontoons, boats, canal houses, hotels and historic museums. Other stages include outdoor spaces like Museumplein, Rembrandtplein, Bijlmerplein, Erasmuspark and Vondelpark.
For young musicians, the Junior Grachtenfestival features entertainment and workshops, as well opportunities to perform. Toddlers through school-age kids can get interactive with instruments and experience live music up close and personal.
The free opening program at 21:00 on Friday, August 14, 2015 will take place at Het Compagnietheater, which will also feature daily “yam sessies” at 22:30 in its festival café. The public is invited to jam and groove with Grachtenfestival musicians at this improv fun. Outdoor presentations of Fiddler on the Roof beginning at 16:00 on August 16 and August 23 will feature a violin duo by Ruña ’t Hart and Shin Sihan performed on the roof of the Marc flat boat moored opposite numbers 30-34 on the Spiegelgracht.
Uitmarkt Rings in the Cultural Season
There’s classical ballet and live music—classical, jazz, pop, rock and hip-hop—as well as theater, dance, cinema, books and art at Uitmarkt, one of Holland’s most popular cultural events. From August 28–30, 2015, the celebration of the Netherlands’ cultural scene will showcase some 2,000 performers at almost 30 Amsterdam venues, entertaining 500,000 visitors throughout the weekend.
The lively festival kicks off the new cultural season each year. Over three days, dancers, singers, groups, soloists and orchestras perform in theaters, nightclubs, cafés and concert halls, as well as on outdoor stages in Museumplein, Leidseplein, and other parks and squares. Will you be there?